» Panther Cage Match 2019

Congratulations to the Winner of the Inaugural Panther Cage Match, Rugtomize!

Members of Rugtomize with championship cup

Learn more about Rugtomize on their website.

Rounding out the Top 4 in the competition were the following:
2. My Catering Concierge
3. Unbothered
4. Underwater Torpedo League - Deep End Fitness

The event would not have been possible without the hardwork and vision of many people in Leatherby Center and the larger Argyros School community. Among that group are the Argyros School faculty members pictured below serving as student mentors leading up to and continuing after the Panther Cage Match.

Panther Cage Match student mentors

Argyros School Faculty members Eric Jaegers, Marshall Toplansky, Jake Aguas and Mario Leone served as mentors for the teams preparing for the Panther Cage Match.

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Key Dates

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at midnight:

Initial application due

Friday, September, 27th at midnight:

Individual / Team Pitch deck presentation (s) due

Sunday, September 29th:

Notification to Semifinalist Teams

Thursday, October 3rd:

Notification to Finalist Teams for competition

Friday, October 4th:

Final round individual & team rehearsal

Saturday, October 5th:

Panther Cage Match

How to Apply

Application Form

Following your submission of the initial application, begin work on the Pitch Deck Presentation, due September 27th. Details for the Pitch Deck are located below under "Requirements for Submission."


First Round Judges:

Sherry Delaney
Principal & COO, New Market Wealth Management

Bob Godlasky
Mentor, Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship

Sunil Murthy, Ph.D.
VP Strategic Marketing & Business Development, Transient Plasma Systems

Ben Xiang
Global Head of IoT, AI, and Mixed-Reality, Ingram Micro

Semi-Final Round Judges:

Jim Burra
Chapman University Trustee and Founder, Endural

Bill Carpou

Dr. Tanveer Hussain
CEO, VR YourHealth

Kim Letch
Managing Partner, Ernst Young

Allan Tea
Managing Partner, Hello Kitty Cafe and Capital Seafood.

Thomas Turk, Ph.D.
Dean, Argyros School of Business & Economics

Final Round Judges:

Joe Formichelli
Director, Celsia Technologies Taiwan and Board Member of Telchemy Inc

Jonathan Hersh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Argyros School of Business & Economics

Cheryl Osborn
President, CASCO Contractors

Greg Spierkel
Board Member MGM, McLaren Group, Schneider Electric

Alan & Twila True
Founders of the True Family Enterprises and Venture Capital

Requirements for Submission

Individual/Team Pitch Deck Presentation(s) are due September 27th. Following completion of the initial application teams will be required to submit a powerpoint presentation with the following information via email to Karen Akiyama:

Slide 1:
  • Individual and or Team Member(s)/Date of Presentation

Slide 2:

  • Include following disclaimer: “This document is presented for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and is not, a prospectus, offering memorandum or private placement memorandum. The information in this business plan may not be complete and may be changed, modified, or amended at any time by the business owner, and is not intended to, and does not, constitute representations and warranties of the company. This business plan contains the company’s proprietary information and may not be copied, faxed, reproduced or otherwise distributed and the contents of this business plan may not be disclosed to anyone, without the owner's express written consent.”

Slide 3:

  • Introduction: This slide can be used to introduce your team, you and the business or concept as it currently exists.
Slide 4:
  • Problem Statement: Describe the type of problem(s) or issue(s) that are the focus of your business concept and why the problem is worth solving.
Slide 5:
  • Competitive Landscape: Describe the type of solutions available that are direct or indirect competitive alternatives.
Slide 6:
  • The New Solution and Market Validation: What evidence have you accumulated that support why your solution will be successful?
Slide 7:
  • Financial Return: What investment or financial sourcing have you explored and found? What value can you unlock?
Slide 8:
  • Action needed: What do you need to commercialize your business venture? Include short, medium and long-term steps to be carried out.
Slide 9:
  • Q&A: Include team members, cell phone # and email information.


1st prize   $2000.00 cash, Legal, Accounting and Business Services

2nd prize  $1000.00 cash, Legal, Accounting and Business Services

3rd & 4th   $500.00 cash, Legal, Accounting and Business Services


Q: How much time and what date(s) should they anticipate needing to dedicate to this competition for rehearsals, pre-final competition rounds, etc.

A: The abstract of your business idea should be concise and take very little time to prepare.  The formal presentation will take the time you feel necessary to complete the pitch deck to a quality for venture capital discussion.  A limit of 6 slides has been provided to assist you in presentation development. See submission requirements.

Q: What exactly they’ll be expected to do or present (is it a PPT, is it a demonstration, proof of concept, do they need to bring the goods and demo them just like on shark tank, etc) – if not in detail until after they apply, at least in general to set expectations

A: The presentation can include short videos, product prototypes.

Q: How far along/baked out does their idea need to be? How many years are they allowed to be in business already/if at all?

A: No limit to the stage of business development.  A nascent idea emerging is as valid as an early stage commercialized business for consideration.

Q: Do they have to be CU students/alumni?

A: Yes, at a minimum, one member of the team needs to be a current student or alumni of Chapman University.

Q: How many team members are required?

A: There is no maximum number of team members allowed for individual business ideas.

Q: When will teams be notified of their selection to the Final 8 and Final 4 teams?

A: The Final 8 will be notified by end of day on Sunday, September 29th. The Final 4 teams will be notified by Thursday, October 3rd.

Event Photography

Round of 8

Judges for Round of 8

The Round of 8 Judges, along with Argyros School faculty advisors, pose with the Panther Cage Match Championship Cup. Left to right: Eric Jaegers, Allan Tea, Dr. Tanveer Hussain, Mario Leone, Jim Burra, Dean Thomas Turk, Marshall Toplansky, Kim Letch and Bill Carpou

Round of 8 team members

The representatives from the Panther Cage Match Round of 8 pose with Argyros School faculty advisors.

The Drip Drop representative presenting

The judges panel taking in a presentation for The Drip Drop.

3 men talking

Team members from My Catering Concierge networking with judge Allan Tea.

Final Round

Final round contestants with Dean Turk

Team members of the Final Four pose with Dean Thomas A. Turk.

Mario Leone speaks to assembled crowd

Leatherby Center Director Mario Leone addresses the audience for the Panther Cage Match.

Table of Cage Match Judges

The final round judges applaud following a presentation.

Finalists on stage

Chris Lowe and representatives for the final four teams on stage.

Rugtomize presentation

Matt Craig, of Rugtomize, presents during the final round of the Panther Cage Match.

MCC team members handing out pamphlets

My Catering Concierge team members present the judges with company information.

Corporate Partners


Come and support your classmates and alumni!

Complimentary dinner and drinks will be served.

RSVP to Panther Cage Match on Day 2 of Homecoming Weekend

Have questions?

For questions or more information, please contact Ms. Karen Akiyama, at kmu@chapman.edu.


Saturday, October 5th

3 - 5 p.m. - Opening and Competition

5:30 p.m. - Tailgate Barbecue

6:30 p.m. - Awards Ceremony


Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics

549 West Palm

Orange, 92868